All nurses and allied health professionals at a Devon trust are to be provided with a pocket mirror to aid them with the identification of pressure ulcers on patients’ heels.
The move was the brainchild of a hospital ward manager at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, backed by the trust’s innovation group and its charitable funds committee.
Ward manager Teresa Beer, who works on Hartor Ward at Derriford Hospital, identified that the use of pocket mirrors can help in the detection of compromised tissue when access to the patients’ heels can often be difficult.
She told the newly-formed innovation group that heel ulcers represent around 12% of the incidence of pressure ulcers overall per year in the trust and were the ones most likely to involve deeper and more extensive damage than others.
When these more serious incidents are considered, out of the 29 patients reported with this level of damage last year at the trust, 18 were due to heel pressure ulcers.
The group identified a source for mirrors, which met with infection control standards and an initial funding stream.
Trust chair Richard Crompton praised all the staff involved, saying: “Having a pathway in the trust whereby frontline staff like Teresa can bring their ideas is a fantastic way of ensuring that we can engage with all the right departments to make things happen.”